These policies allow me to spend maximum time preparing for classes that enable your child’s musical growth and minimize time spent on logistics. Additionally, they encourage good communication and establish mutual respect within my studio. Thank you for taking the time to read them carefully!
Initial Trial Lesson
Your first lesson is complimentary. This is a time when a prospective family/student and I can get to know each other and ask questions to determine whether my programs are what you are looking for. You will receive a Welcome Pack at your trial lesson with all the information you need to make your experience in my studio the best one possible.
Families interested in the Suzuki Cello program will attend the initial trial lesson, followed by a parent orientation session. Please bring something to occupy your child during the parent orientation session.
Suzuki Cello Program: I invoice parents at the beginning of each month. Tuition fees involve lesson preparation, handouts, assistance in purchasing new instruments and telephone consultations. Additional costs for group classes and recitals might be involved.
Each family is encouraged to become a member of the Suzuki Talent Education Association of Australia (NSW), which provides many benefits including access to Suzuki events, quarterly newsletter and support to the training and professional development of your teacher. Family Membership is $110 for one year.
Music & Giggles Program: Classes are payable termly in advance and a pro-rata fee applies if start part way through the term. Babies under 4 months of age can join free of charge. All children are required to have a valid PCYC membership, which costs $10 and is valid for one year.
If you register more than one family member (another child or parent), you will receive 10% discount on second tuition fees.
Recommend a friend and, if your friend enrol, both of you get a 10% discount for one month.
By taking an active role in your child’s learning, you, as a parent, will develop a special bond with your child and build and incredibly positive experience.
Suzuki Cello Program: Parents of children 12 years old and under are required to attend lessons, listen with full attention, and take notes for home practice. All parents are expected to take an active role. Suzuki parents will serve as their child’s “home teacher” – a role that requires no musical background and will thrill those who choose it. An explanation of the Suzuki parent’s role will be part of the Suzuki parent orientation session that follows the initial trial lesson. To read more about the Suzuki Method, please check my website.
Music & Giggles Program: Parents are required to attend classes and be a patient and active role model. If you cannot attend, a carer is also welcome. Please keep conversations to a minimum and be focused. Remember that parents ‘chatting’ (even quietly) during or between activities is VERY DISTRACTING for the children, teachers and other parents. Some of the things we do in class are non-verbal, to encourage auditory awareness and observation skills. Please avoid the temptation to ‘translate’ into words or ‘commentate’ on what’s happening.
To get the most out of any program, students must attend lessons regularly. Consistent attendance leads to happy and steady progress. Please review your schedule carefully for any conflicts with your reserved lesson time, choose a lesson day and time that will work for the whole term.
Suzuki Cello Program: Care is taken to schedule the student at a mutually convenient time. A specific time is reserved weekly for you that is exclusively yours. This is the special nature of private study.
Please reschedule your lesson only if it is absolutely necessary. If you are going to miss a lesson for any reason, please let me know by e-mail, text message or phone call. You can have a make-up lesson within the current term as long as you give me at least 24h notice before your designed time slot. For last-minute cancellations, no-shows and group class, I am not able to offer make-up lessons and the lesson will be forfeit. At the Student Portal, you have access to my schedule and the available time slots for make-up lessons. If you cannot find a suitable time slot to make-up your lesson within my schedule, unfortunately the lesson will be forfeit. Refunds are not possible.
Finally, if you have not practiced, or if your cello is being repaired, please don’t cancel your lesson, we can still make some musical progress!
Music & Giggles Program: Make-up classes are available within the current term and subject to availability. I cannot provide a reduction in fees but you are welcome to attend a class on a different day if there is space (bookings are essential).
If you or your child are not well, please do not come to lessons. If they are not well enough to go to school, they are not well enough to go to lessons. For cello students, we could do a Skype lesson instead.
If your child has an injury (for example, a sprained wrist) and can’t play but is otherwise in good spirits, please do bring them to their lesson. We will find something to work on!
It is understandable that some families (particularly those with pre-school or homeschooled children) prefer to travel at times other than the scheduled school breaks. However, please note that except in the case of emergency (i.e. death in the family), there will be NO REFUNDS or CREDITS if a student must miss a class due to travel. I try my best to accommodate make-up lessons but due to my schedule I cannot guarantee. Please contact me to discuss your specific case.
Suzuki Cello Program: I may offer cello lessons during school holidays. I will provide my holiday availability in advance to my students via the Student Portal. Students can opt to have more than one lesson a week during the holidays. Holiday lessons must be scheduled in advance. In the instance that I do offer holiday lessons, I strongly encourage students to take lessons, as they have more time to practice and focus. Students often experience great progress during the holidays.
Music & Giggles Program: The program only runs during school term. No classes during school holidays.
In each Suzuki cello lesson, we will work on tone production, cello technique, musicianship, and cello repertoire. We may also work on orchestral music as needed, and any solos students wish to play for school, church, etc. Students are responsible for providing their own music. Photocopied materials are not permitted in lessons as a permanent substitute for purchasing printed works. Students are responsible to bring their materials to every lesson. Parents are required to observe and take notes in lessons.
Cello Group Classes
I hold cello group classes and all students up to 18 years old are required to take part (optional for adult students). Attendance is very important and theses classes are key to my Suzuki program. In group class, we review and polish our common repertoire, learn ensemble skills, and most importantly, learn from our friends. Additionally, we have informal performance opportunities. It builds our community and motivates us as we learn from others. The musical, social, and inspirational benefits of group classes are endless and are often the highlight of learning the cello. Group lessons serve as a motivator for students and help develop their self-confidence. Most importantly, group lessons are FUN! You wouldn’t want to miss group classes, they are key to the student’s success.
Occasionally, the Sydney Suzuki Institute runs cello group classes a few times a year and I highly recommend to all my students to participate.
Recitals/Graduation Concerts/Festivals (for Cello Students)
Solo and group performances are the milestones of our musical journey. I arrange studio concerts in which students up to 18 years old are required to perform (optional for adult students). I will also try to arrange performances in the community, as opportunities arise. Suggestions as to where to hold additional performances are welcomed! Recitals, graduation concerts and Suzuki festivals are an important part of the Suzuki community and families are highly encourage to participate in these events. They are fun and a good motivation for the student and for the family!
Practice (for Cello Students)
Students and families are required to make an effort for daily cello practice. It is the parent’s responsibility to foster a musical environment at home by listening to the Suzuki recording, preparing the practice schedule and study space, obtaining needed supplies, and communicating with me frequently so we can work together to improve and enjoy the process. It is a cooperative effort!
In my Suzuki program, I work very closely with parents to help them know how to assist their children at home. You don’t need to know music or be an expert! If you are willing to share this important first steps with your child and work alongside the teacher, that is all you need. Come to lessons, listen to the recordings, practice everyday and celebrate every little step! Time goes by so fast but these special moments with your child will last forever.
Students are expected to listen to their required recordings every day. This is the best way to further develop their musical ear, and their musical sensitivity. As a student in my studio, you will have access to my playlists on Sound Cloud where you will find the Music & Giggles repertoire and the Suzuki Cello Program repertoire for beginners. Just download the free app Sound Cloud, search for Monica Lima Suzuki Studio and enjoy!
If you would like to purchase the Suzuki recordings, they are easily obtained from iTunes (search for Suzuki Cello School) or you can find a physical copy from your local music shop.
Siblings and Lesson Etiquette
I have no rule against siblings attending lessons, but they must respect the lesson environment. Please bring a quiet activity for siblings to do. If necessary, take them out of the room and come back when they are ready.
Cell phone must be turned off, and making phone calls during lessons is prohibited.
Suzuki cello students are required to have short, clipped fingernails at every lesson. Students must also wash their hands before their lesson.
I check my studio e-mail and text messages once a day each weekday and respond as soon as I can. Please call my phone 0416 325 979 for emergencies or cancellations.
I hope that music classes will be a very positive experience for you and your child. If you have any concerns, or wish to discuss the student’s progress, please do not hesitate to contact me. I may contact parents and students to discuss their progress. I believe that open, honest communication is always the best way to resolve problems.
Discontinuation of Lessons
If you wish to discontinue lessons, please let me know well in advance. Notice must be given by the end of the current term, not the beginning of the new term as this makes really hard to plan for the upcoming term and to accommodate families on the waiting list.